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Author Topic: New hardware recommendations?  (Read 1840 times)

barney

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New hardware recommendations?
« on: March 29, 2010, 10:46:09 PM »
Folk,

Seems as though I always return to DC when I find a conundrum or need to make a decide.  The breadth of knowledge here surpasseth all understanding when compared to what I can find elsewhere.

I'm looking at two (2) new pieces of hardware. 

My current LinkSys 350N router seems to be not-so-slowly giving up the ghost.  Since I have no viable way of testing/troubleshooting it for the [presumed] failure(s), I plan to replace it.  Currently looking at the LinkSys 400N and the D-Link DIR-685.  I like the dual-band capability of the LinkSys, although I may not be able to utilize that aspect right away.  On the other hand, the D-Link looks awfully good - but I've not had good luck with D-Link products in the past, mostly because of short life span(s).  D-Link and NetGear have pretty much been under my radar, until now, but as said, the DIR-685 looks awfully good.  Any thoughts or experience regarding either of these?  Or perhaps recommendation for something better?

Other piece of hardware is a new laptop.  Just got a Dell Vosto 1520 (?) for Baby Daughter, discount price.  That got me to kooking at a Dell Vostro 3700 (?) with an I7 processor, 4-6 G RAM.  I've always considered Dell to be a bit pricey, and this one is no exception, but it's the lowest price I've seen yet for an I7.  However, I've been out of touch with the laptop arena for a while - my last several were WinBooks, and they not made anymore <sigh />.  Again, any thoughts, experience, or recommendations?

Stoic Joker

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Re: New hardware recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2010, 07:00:48 AM »
Quote
The new Xtreme N Storage Router (DIR-685) makes networking easier by combining the superior features of a wireless N router, a built-in Network Attached Storage (NAS) and a digital photo frame

Oh goody, a Feng Shui router... *Sigh* ...Sounds like the kind of toy that you'll end up hating (mind you I am a minimalist). I'd much rather things stick to what they're supposed to do - All things, to all people constructs tend to end badly.

NetGear, on the other hand, while not top-shelf, has proven to be quite reliable. I generally go for LinkSys first - But I've worked with some NetGear hardware (on long term projects) that gave results that I couldn't argue with.

What is your current router doing that makes you think it's dieing? If the ping times for both the LAN & WAN ports are stable and low ... There's really not much else the box needs to do. Unless it one of those models with an SPI firewall that cronically tanks the connection.

barney

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Re: New hardware recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2010, 07:49:43 AM »
It's a LinkSys 350N, so I'm afraid the SPI firewall is a reality.  Hasn't given any problems until last 7-10 days.

It's knocking Baby Daughter's Dell off the air on a fairly frequent basis - at least daily, often 2-3 times per day - and has started knocking the Gateway desktop off the air as well.  And the Gateway has both a 10/100 card and a LinkSys USB 300N wireless card.  (And I've had to reset the router twice since I started this post  :(.)

As noted, this is a recent development, but seems to be accelerating.  I tried disabling the firewall, but didn't make any difference.  I have to depower, wait 10-30 seconds, then repower in order to get connectivity again.  Not a major thing if it's once a day, but if it gets to once an hour it'll be a real irritant.

Since I don't know of any real way to repair, I'll just replace.  Might be a wasteful process, but it's stood me in good stead for the last coupla decades.

Re the Feng Shui router:  don't forget the LCD screen <g, d, & r>.  Already have NAS connected, but I'd prolly use the 2.5" drive if it were available.  More concerned with the robustness of the router/switch.  Both of the mentioned devices have gotten good reviews, for what that's worth, but I was hoping for a private screening by a DC member.  (Just did my 3rd reset of the morning  >:(.)

JavaJones

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Re: New hardware recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 12:42:37 PM »
If the router problems are recent and getting worse with time, you're probably right that it could be hardware. But on the off chance it's not, you might want to try DDWRT (or at least make sure your official firmware is up to date):
http://www.dd-wrt.co....php/Linksys_WRT350N

As for the laptop, unless you do a lot of performance computing with the thing, it's not worth getting an i7 IMO. Newer Core 2-based laptops with Win7 and a decent supply of RAM can be quite speedy. An i7 is really only necessary if you're a gamer, or doing some rendering or something.

As for brand, Dell's are actually fairly decent price-wise. We've got quite a few of them at my office (both laptops and desktops) and they've been reliable overall. I'm also a fan of Toshiba. Not so much HP, Gateway, Lenovo (Lenovo really makes odd decisions on its hardware design!). If you want pricey, check out Sony's VAIO line. But I wouldn't otherwise recommend them. ;) If you want max customization and potentially best pricing, try http://www.powernotebooks.com/

- Oshyan

barney

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Re: New hardware recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2010, 02:53:30 PM »
As for the laptop, unless you do a lot of performance computing with the thing, it's not worth getting an i7 IMO. Newer Core 2-based laptops with Win7 and a decent supply of RAM can be quite speedy. An i7 is really only necessary if you're a gamer, or doing some rendering or something.

As for brand, Dell's are actually fairly decent price-wise. We've got quite a few of them at my office (both laptops and desktops) and they've been reliable overall. I'm also a fan of Toshiba. Not so much HP, Gateway, Lenovo (Lenovo really makes odd decisions on its hardware design!). If you want pricey, check out Sony's VAIO line. But I wouldn't otherwise recommend them.

Uh-h-h ... thank you, but no - VAIO cases must be made of precious metal(s), 'cause the guts ain't that great.  Friend has one - I hate when I have to work on it after he gets stone-walled.  Developed a distaste for HP & Compaq when they were proprietary, never got over it.  Gateway desktops are OK, I guess, but the laptops strike me as somewhat sub-standard.  Lenovo ... well, seemed to me that IBM made some strange hardware decides, & I guess Lenovo bought that as part of the package when they picked up ThinkPad <snicker />.  Had good results with Toshiba laptops when at MCI, and the Dells were ok, but the VP I was under banned Dell 'cause of price.  That may be where I got the pricey attitude, but as I browse their products, prices seem reasonable.

Did the firmware upgrade - like to try to keep that stuff up to date, too many black-hats walkin' around - so that's prolly not a viable solution, but I'll check for a later 'n greater version, anyway.

Thanks for the notebooks link - hadn't run across that one - looks interesting.

Now, about the I7  ;).  Yeah, I know, it's overkill - right now.  But CAD will follow gaming in fairly short order, and I'm certain that Adobe is working on stuff right now that will want, if not need, it.  Then GIMP will follow suit.  It's amazing how fast some software can stretch the limits of technology.  Prolly be years before most software will need, or even make use of, that kind of power.  (Look at how long 64-bit has been around, then count the number of applications that make use of it  ;D.)  But I'd like to play with it, and am in a situation right now where that is a viable option.  It's a conceit, I know, but one I intend to satisfy <chortle />.

JavaJones

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Re: New hardware recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2010, 04:26:54 PM »
Hehe, yes, you'll note I said if you're looking for pricey, then look at VAIO, but I *wouldn't otherwise recommend them*. :D

It sounds like your needs may indeed justify as good a CPU as you can get right now. Just keep in mind the laptop i7's are rather slower than the desktop versions.

- Oshyan